Wednesday, 30 November 2016 06:32

December kindness is nice, but 11 more months is better

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It's the beginning of December.

It means the start of the Christmas sprint: office parties, shopping, visiting friends, sentimental movies, community and school concerts as well, ridiculously excited children, traveling and for many people, the annual time for giving to a food bank, the red kettle campaign or some other worthwhile charity.
It’s all fun and enjoyable as we move from place to place happily hob-nobbing with different people one hasn’t seen much all year.
For many it’s a rush and a difficult exercise to try and cram everything they want to do because it seems like there is so much to do and catch up with that the enjoyable time of year is actually stressful. In fact, some people hate Christmas because it is exactly that: it’s a pressured sprint to cram in as much as possible in a short period of time.  Why is it necessary to make up for that lost time? Why not spread the love out throughout the other 11 months.
Of course this is further delayed by the volumes of people out and about seemingly in an 11-month social hibernation when they figure Christmas — the celebration of Christianity’s Lord and Savior’s birth — is the only time of the year when they can be generous to those less fortunate, open with their time to visit some elderly aunt or uncle they haven’t seen since last Christmas or just happy such as sharing a smile with a stranger.
It’s kind of ironic actually that for some people, it’s like clockwork: December and Christmas the time of year where we put all of our collective eggs in one basket to be kind, loving and generous during what is one of the pillars of the Christian doctrine.
It’s as those we are making up for past transgressions, by being extra sweet during that last month.
Maybe it stems from what some people were taught as children: be good or Santa won’t visit.
While people tend to snicker when they hear a child exclaim “I wish it was Christmas every day!”, that statement of innocence is actually one that everyone should hear.
How hard is it to try and be nice every day? Look out for others, i.e., don’t drink and drive; give what one can during the course of the year, not just with money, but time; be understanding and patient with those who have a variety of issues; and generally looking out for others.
How about smiling once in a while? Swift Current resident Matthew Drummond had a cool idea with his unique method of wearing a wig and holding a sign proclaiming “free smiles.” While that may not be an idea for everyone, paying for someone’s coffee in a drive through, helping someone who is in trouble or stranded, or just saying ‘hello’ while walking on a pathway can make a positive difference in someone’s day.  The Swift Current students at Maverick students are again participating in the national White Ribbon Campaign informational campaign — speaking out against violence against women.
So when out and about over the next three weeks leading up to Christmas, remember: pace oneself. Spread the love and kindness over 52 weeks instead of three. There are days where people are going to be jerks, but hey, why doesn’t each person give the Christmas gift that keeps on giving every day: a little humanity. It doesn’t mean one won’t have bad days or being good to others instantly means one will get “paid back” 10- fold. Life has a funny way of being cruel sometimes, but being kind will help a person feel better as well as aiding others.
As the old adage goes, be kind to everyone as much one can every day, because one never knows what someone is going through — and that goes for before and after Christmas too.
Ryan Dahlman is managing editor with the Prairie Post. Contact him with your comments at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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Ryan Dahlman

Managing Editor